In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most effective, commonly performed and final infertility treatment in the world. Still, unless you have actually gone through it, most people don’t actually know what’s involved with the steps involved with this assisted reproductive technology (ART). You can consider this your introductory guide.
First, IVF is a sequence of procedures that involves fertilization of an egg outside a woman’s body in a specialized lab. It is often performed after other methods of trying to get pregnant have failed.
Here’s how IVF works, step-by-step:
Preparation for an IVF Cycle – Testing and Ovarian Stimulation
Before IVF, you’ll have an evaluation of your uterus and fallopian tubes to make sure there are no issues that require surgical repair. Pre-cycle testing includes hormonal evaluation to assess thyroid function and ovarian reserve, screening both partners for sexually transmitted infection, and a semen analysis of the male partner.
A gestational-carrier arrangement occurs when intended parents (or donors) supply the egg & sperm but a non-related person carries the pregnancy.
There are many different reasons why you and your partner may be dealing with infertility. Fortunately, there are also many assisted reproductive technologies (ART) now available to help you reach the goal of having a healthy baby.
Some infertility challenges may call for trying approaches known as “third-party reproduction.” This involves another person/other people beyond the intended parents.
While these advances may help you become a parent, they also call for careful consideration and consultation with experts on the medical process and the emotional and legal implications.
Are Fertility Drugs Safe? Yes, According to Evidence to Date
The majority of women who seek treatment for infertility will be treated with fertility drugs and/or have surgery. As with taking a drug for any reason, asking about safety is a fair question.
Fertility drugs came on the market back in 1967; it’s been forty years since the birth of Baby Louise via test tube and eight million babies have been born using in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other procedures. “We’re at a time point when, if there were anything major, we would have seen it by now”, says Alan Penzias, M.D., an associate professor at Harvard Medical School who serves on the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the professional society of fertility specialists. “Fortunately, we haven’t seen anything negative.”
What is recurrent pregnancy loss and what can be done about it?
Nearly 10-25% of pregnancies may end with a miscarriage. In addition to the grief from such a loss, many women and their partners wonder if they will still be able to have a successful pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby afterward. They also wonder what went wrong and if anything they did contributed to their loss. The same is true for those who experience multiple miscarriages, also known as recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL).
So many different factors can play a role in affecting your ability to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby. One potential factor which affects about 20-50% of women of reproductive age and 50–80% of African-American women is uterine fibroids. They are a common condition and often run in families. If your mother had fibroids, there’s a good chance you might have them, too.
Yes, Weight Matters to Your Fertility and Infertility Treatment
Medical conditions are often covered on tv shows and in movies; given their often large audiences, it’s especially important to get the facts right. A recent episode of the popular tv show “This is Us” recently tackled the topic of whether being overweight or obese negatively affects a woman’s fertility.
The storyline follows a character named “Kate Pearson” who is 38, obese and last season experienced a miscarriage. On this year’s premiere, a fertility specialist told Kate “At your weight, the chances for a successful pregnancy are very slim—even with IVF.” Obesity does affect pregnancy rates, increases the risk of miscarriage and may result in poorer outcomes with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Infertility is a disease and deserves to be covered by health insurance like other medical conditions. There are compelling business and social reasons to support this case.
“Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body’s ability to perform the basic function of reproduction.” That’s what the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) – the professional society for reproductive medicine physicians and providers – declared back in 1993. Despite this statement by professional experts, it took many more years for other major health groups to formally agree.
The Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Infertility
Going to see an infertility specialist can be both daunting and give you hope. You may be entering a world that calls for learning new medical terms and about diagnostic tests you’ve never heard of. And, if discussing different treatment options such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), you might also have a practical discussion of what it may cost to achieve your family-building dreams.
Today, most patients are advised to be prepared when they visit their doctor and to have a list of questions ready to ask. This is certainly a good idea for you and partner when meeting with your infertility doctor.
Home Fertility Tests, Apps and Pop-Ups – What You Need to Know
Knowing more about your individual fertility is a good thing, especially given the general lack of awareness – often among young women – about the age when fertility starts to decline. This lack of knowledge has real-life implications if women make decisions based on the mistaken idea they can easily get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby in their late 30’s/early 40’s.
Women of childbearing age may be especially affected by the use and misuse of opioids, however, the impact of the drugs on fertility and infertility treatment is rarely discussed.
The use and misuse of opioids in the US have reached epidemic proportions and women of childbearing age may be especially affected. While many of the consequences have been well-documented – abuse, injury, death from overdose – the impact on fertility and infertility treatment is largely left out of the discussion. That must change.
Today’s media coverage would have you believe that celebrities giving birth well into their forties is commonplace. What goes unreported is that most often a much younger egg donor was used because of the celebrity’s age and associated reduced fertility. In fact, age-related decline in fertility is the primary reason a woman who is trying to get pregnant might want to use an egg donor. Once the decision has been made to use an assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) the next decision for an older woman is whether she will use her own eggs or donor eggs.
Dealing with infertility or depression is a major challenge, but trying to cope with both at once can be overwhelming. Fortunately, treatment is available to help you build your family while addressing your depression.
Anyone who follows the news has noticed what seems to be an epidemic of depression. While rates may be on the rise, there’s also a new willingness to discuss the issue more openly. In this way and others, depression, and infertility share traits – both are medical conditions, deserve to have treatment covered, and more work remains to reduce the stigma.
Secondary infertility is the inability to establish a clinical pregnancy after a previous pregnancy whether or not there was a live birth. It affects nearly 3 million couples and accounts for 1/3 of visits to a fertility specialist.
You may be well-informed about a variety of healthcare topics but there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of “secondary infertility.” It’s the inability to establish a clinical pregnancy after a previous pregnancy whether or not there was a live birth. While it may not be a mainstream topic, secondary infertility affects nearly three million couples, double the number from 1995. It also accounts for approximately one-third all visits to see a fertility specialist.
Lost in Translation? A Glossary of Infertility Acronyms to Help
There’s no doubt there’s an education in store for couples who enter the world of infertility as diagnosis and treatment seem to come with their own special language. It begins with learning the basic terminology for tests and procedures you’ll discuss with your doctor. Once you’ve mastered the acronyms for the basics – like IVF – there seems to be a constant stream of new terms to learn with treatment. And, in the vibrant online forums/message boards where infertility is discussed – mostly among women – the acronyms that abound serve as short hand for common medical terms and a variety of expressions that help define the infertility journey.